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New England Aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae)

Host Plant: Pearl Crescent (Phyciodes tharos) and Northern Crescent (Phyciodes cocyta) caterpillars

Nectar Plant: Bumblebees, hoverflies, Monarch Butterflies, moths, and ants

Flower Color: Blue, purple, white, or pink that flower from August to October

Growth Habit: Herbaceous perennial that grows to 2-7 feet tall

Range in North America: All except northwestern North America

Exposure: Full to partial sun

Hardiness: Zones 3-8

Soil Requirements: moist to medium moist clay soil and well-drained soil

New England American Aster

New England Aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae), a member of the Asteraceae (Aster Family), is a herbaceous perennial that has blue, white, to pink flowers in the late summer to fall until frost.  It is often found on roadsides alongside goldenrods (Solidago spp.) and forms a blue to yellow mosaic.

Lance-leaf coreopsis does not host any butterflies, but is an important nectar plant for the Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus), Common Buckeye (Junonia coenia), other butterflies, and honeybees.

Pearl Crescent (Phyciodes tharos)

Pearl Crescent Butterfly – John Flannery from Richmond County, North Carolina, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Northern Crescent (Phyciodes cocyta)

Northern Crescent Butterfly – Rhododendrites, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

New England Aster is found in open places such as grasslands, meadows, stream banks, right-of-ways, and roadsides.  It is native to the midwest and eastern North America, but has been planted in the west.

The genus name of this plant refers to the coming together of the anthers (MO Botanical Garden). This plant is one of the showiest and easily spotted plants on roadsides.

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